Category: Team Building

Team-building is the speciality of Atarah Ben-Tovim.

Team-building is the speciality of Atarah Ben-Tovim.

A teenage prodigy, she first performed live on television with the RPO playing a concerto at the age of fourteen and was for twelve years Principal Flautist with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra – a job for which she pipped a certain J. Galway at the finishing post! Her awards for services to music include the MBE and an Honorary Doctorate of Music from the National Council for Academic Awards.

World Com Prague

She uses the orchestra as the prime example of teamwork in the arts world. Its organisational chart is remarkably similar to that of a typical company. The composer is President laying down the policy. The Conductor is the Managing Director welding the different departments or instrumental sections together and synchronising their sometimes-conflicting activities. The Leader is General Manager and the Principals of each section are the heads of department. Some departments have only two or three members, while the four string sections – violins, violas, cellos and basses, each having their own hierarchy (reflected in their relative earning power) comprise forty or fifty members! Yet all are equally important to the success of the whole enterprise: in music, one wrong note from one player can ruin the efforts of all the others; in business, one employee’s wrong attitude can lose a sale for which hundreds have striven.

With more than forty years’ experience of motivating large audiences, Atarah can work to any size of public from thirty to three thousand. All she needs is one microphone, her flute and the formidable energy of a show-business pro who has also founded and run her own commercial and non-commercial enterprises in music promotion and publishing. As anyone who has attended one of her several thousand live concerts in major halls and for the major festivals in Britain and abroad – or has seen her on television – can tell you, she drives her points firmly home by mixing education and fun. The recipe that works at one of her concerts with 2500 inner-city kids hearing classical music for the first time is just as effective with personnel at all levels because it stimulates and relaxes by alternating listening and activity. The team-building message is not simply verbal but includes musical demonstrations: the audience is divided into sections equipped on the way into the hall with domestic utensils / pen-tops / elastic bands / bottles / whistles, etc. With this unlikely combination of instruments in the hands of an initially unmusical rabble a piece of music is rehearsed and performed at the end of the session – with dynamics, harmony, solos and all! Lo and behold, a team has not just been built but heard in action! Because music is universal and non-verbal, the method works equally well with book trade reps in Bournemouth, civil servants in Hong Kong, teachers in Newcastle, wine- growers in Bordeaux and sales personnel from all over the world at a recent conference in the Prague Hilton.

A teenage prodigy, she first performed live on television with the RPO playing a concerto at the age of fourteen and was for twelve years Principal Flautist with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra – a job for which she pipped a certain J. Galway at the finishing post! Her awards for services to music include the MBE and an Honorary Doctorate of Music from the National Council for Academic Awards. She uses the orchestra as the prime example of teamwork in the arts world. Its organisational chart is remarkably similar to that of a typical company. The composer is President laying down the policy. The Conductor is the Managing Director welding the different departments or instrumental sections together and synchronising their sometimes-conflicting activities. The Leader is General Manager and the Principals of each section are the heads of department. Some departments have only two or three members, while the four string sections – violins, violas, cellos and basses, each having their own hierarchy (reflected in their relative earning power) comprise forty or fifty members! Yet all are equally important to the success of the whole enterprise: in music, one wrong note from one player can ruin the efforts of all the others; in business, one employee’s wrong attitude can lose a sale for which hundreds have striven. With more than forty years’ experience of motivating large audiences, Atarah can work to any size of public from thirty to three thousand. All she needs is one microphone, her flute and the formidable energy of a show-business pro who has also founded and run her own commercial and non-commercial enterprises in music promotion and publishing. As anyone who has attended one of her several thousand live concerts in major halls and for the major festivals in Britain and abroad – or has seen her on television – can tell you, she drives her points firmly home by mixing education and fun. The recipe that works at one of her concerts with 2500 inner-city kids hearing classical music for the first time is just as effective with personnel at all levels because it stimulates and relaxes by alternating listening and activity.

The team-building message is not simply verbal but includes musical demonstrations: the audience is divided into sections equipped on the way into the hall with domestic utensils / pen-tops / elastic bands / bottles / whistles, etc. With this unlikely combination of instruments in the hands of an initially unmusical rabble a piece of music is rehearsed and performed at the end of the session – with dynamics, harmony, solos and all! Lo and behold, a team has not just been built but heard in action! Because music is universal and non-verbal, the method works equally well with book trade reps in Bournemouth, civil servants in Hong Kong, teachers in Newcastle, wine- growers in Bordeaux and sales personnel from all over the world at a recent conference in the Prague Hilton.